EU Energy Ministers working on the EU Clean Energy Package are relying on an outdated and unambitious position on renewable energy say the Climate Action Network (CAN).
On 18 December the EU Energy Ministers are expected to reach an agreement on four legislative files under the Clean Energy Package; those regarding renewable energy, governance and the internal market for electricity. However, CAN Europe says the draft documents for the meeting show that they are relying on an outdated, unambitious position on the renewable energy target and weak rules for helping countries make energy transition. They are also about to allow coal subsidies in the EU power market.
“So far EU governments have ignored the inevitable: that the EU needs to dramatically speed up the energy transition and increase its renewable energy target in line with the Paris Agreement” said CAN Europe Director Wendel Trio. “Energy Ministers face a choice: either they stick to current proposals and allow the era of coal, oil and gas industries indiscriminately polluting our atmosphere and land to continue for another decade. Or they improve them drastically and make headway towards a safer and cleaner economy.”
On renewable energy, a 27 percent renewable energy target included in the proposal for EU governments’ position on renewable energy would put the brakes on the EU energy transition, as it is barely above what would happen if no new policies were put in place. It would imply a fivefold decrease of new renewable energy installations in the next decade, compared to the period 2010-2020.
Targets need to be raised to at least 45 percent to be consistent with the Paris Agreement. Recently the European Parliament’s Industry Committee voted in favour of a 35 percent objective for renewables, sending a strong signal on the need to scale up renewable energy to EU governments.
Furthermore, the draft EU governments’ position on the governance of the Energy Union lacks teeth to drive investments in renewables and energy efficiency, putting the delivery of the EU’s 2030 targets for these sectors at risk.
CAN believes that Member States must stop dragging their feet and raise the level of ambition of the governance regulation, in line with the position adopted by MEPs last week. The Industry and Environment Committees of the European Parliament have voted in favour of increasing the EU’s long term target to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and supported robust rules to ensure the delivery of the 2030 energy targets.
Additionally, the draft position on the market design opens the door to allowing massive coal subsidies in the new EU power market rules. It eliminates the carbon intensity threshold of 550gCO2 per KWh for existing plants and postpones the introduction of the limit for new plants until 2025. This would make the so-called ‘550 rule’ irrelevant.
This waters down the Commission’s original proposal, which wanted all plants operating under capacity mechanisms to be covered by emission limits.